Social Media

How not to screw up your political ambitions at 20: political social media 101

Shaaz Nasir

How future politicians should  manage their presence on social networks

Fast forward your life a few decades. You are near the end of a race to become the next member of parliament, congressman or even a top statesmen. Both sides have spent millions on digging out some dirt on each other and your opponent hits the jackpot. An old instagram photo back in 2012 with you taking shots off the body of a woman #doubleyagerbomb in New York

But wait, upon further scrutiny of your tweets, they find you retweeted a Buzzfeed article that promoted a not so politically correct meme in 2008. Hold up…oh no, thanks to Facebook’s timeline they know what you did in the summer of 2002. Regretting that are you know?

You lose the election. But hey you gained a lot more followers on instagram! #f8ckme

Let Mindthis help you to avoid this outcome. With Generation Y sharing every aspect of their life on every social media tool imaginable, it’s safe to say that future politicians will have some explaining to do when their opponent finds questionable photos of them having fun 10 years ago.

Just think about it, right at this very moment our future prime minister or president could be getting shit faced or lighting up a joint or simply retweeting that previously mentioned  controversial article from Buzzfeed. Think about the headlines in year 2025 “Rising Star Plagued with Dodgy 2011 Tweets”, “Hatred towards Cats and sharing of Jackie Chan Meme Takes Out Leading Candidate”

No Clear Choice

Gen Y is not some wild party generation. Our parents probably partook in greater escapades. But they had no real means to showcase it to the world. Now you’re thinking this presents the aspiring politician with two clear choices; live a really boring life or do everything you can to hide a great life.

You’re wrong. You can have a fun life and share it. Just do it in a smart way. Embrace the fact that you can’t control your friends social accounts and their depiction of you. Passed out at Jerry’s 4 am BBQ, you can expect photos hitting the web asap. That’s life. But Jerry is going to slip as well and enjoy his own life lessons in consuming alcohol. Social media is either fostering a mutually assured destruction game in which both political opponents will not dig up past tweets due to the fear of revenge, or it will lead to a shift in what society seems appropriate for those who dream of holding office one day.

“OMG HE SHARED THAT JACKIE CHAN MEME IN 2010? HE’S NOT A LEADER” might be the opinion of the older generation, says someone’s grandmother. However in 2030 an older Gen Y crowd would probably respond with “LOOLZZZ LOVED THAT SHIT #JACKIEFORLIFE” as they head for the polls and walk by grandma’s grave.

Beyond our Current Leaders

Yet, a lot of Gen Y’s are trying to play by the standards set for today’s politicians.

For example, I have seen amongst my own facebook friends, who I assume will run for office one day,  horrible attempts to manage their social presence by only sharing pictures of them studying hard at the library, volunteering for charities or photos with Asians (look I loved diversity back in 2013!) You’re only fooling yourself. You have to understand that trying to live by what society thinks is acceptable today is unstrategic. You have to understand that in 2030, people will actually be fine with some shenanigans, not because we all took out the rods from our asses but because everyones history is online as well.

“So what the hell do I do now Shaaz? WHAT DO I TWEET!” you may ask.

Calm down my eager politician , understand these four options to cruise through life until you one day decide to have a go at being an overpaid bureaucrat surrounded by other really overpaid bureaucrats trying to run circles around the general public. I bet you can just feel my enthusiasm for running for office, but that article is for another time.

Your Social Media Strategy Options

1. Have two accounts on Facebook

You leave the professional one public which should dominate the search feed while you keep your after hours on private. Now please don’t feel invincible and start sharing your sex tapes. Just be yourself and share what you feel is cool with your friends.

2. Post Nothing

This is really boring and will run against you as your opponent who took Mindthis’s advice all those years ago shared some interesting moments in their life and now Buzzfeed pumps out “Top 20 photos of how cool Jerry was in his twenties” meanwhile everyone turns to your social media foot print which is some old economist article in 2006. How lovely.

3. Be Fake

As mentioned before, don’t manufacture the perfect persona dated from 2007. Everyone can see what you’re doing and politicians already have to fight perceptions of being fake.

4. Think before you Act

This is an old school strategy that predates any social tool out there. Also known as common sense, if you need to let loose make sure you do it amounts friends you would trust your life with (political life that is).

5. Thought Leadership

Be a thought leader in your own field by generating useful content for online magazines or your own blog. This is a long term strategy that after 20 years of sharing will pay off in the polls when tens of thousands will think “ oh yeah that dude with the cool articles is running?”

Final Rants

As I scroll down my news feed, it deeply saddens me to see those aspiring politicians model their appearances of past relics or current politicians. I hope this Mindthis article leads you to the right path. Social media may or may not help you win but not having it will definitely hurt you. Our team is working to produce a series with detailed advice on how to be your best on social media.

Oh and one final tip, despite how much social media morphes our societal expectations of morality for political leaders, Snap chats of your cock? that will forever be a bad idea.

Don’t do it. #screenshot